Tahlia McGrath named Adelaide Strikers skipper for WBBL07
Tahlia McGrath, the Australian seam bowling allrounder, has been named captain of the Adelaide Strikers for the seventh season of the Women’s Big Bash League. She will take over from regular skipper Suzie Bates who made herself unavailable for this season, and last year’s stand-in skipper Megan Schutt who opted out of the start of the tournament.
The captaincy announcement is just another feather in the cap of a wildly talented player who only recently made a huge mark on the international stage, bagging a player of the series award for her performances against India.
McGrath, who has been part of the Strikers setup since the inception of the WBBL said she has learnt a great deal from all the previous captains and leaders within the club and is excited to make her mark this season.
“I am a proud South Australian and I love representing the Strikers, so I am honoured and privileged to be leading the team this year,” the 25-year-old said on Friday (October 15). “We’ve had some special leaders at the club, and I have learnt a lot playing alongside them. Beepa [Lauren Ebsary], Midgy [Tegan McPharlin], Batsey [Suzie Bates] and Shooter [Megan Schutt] have all done an outstanding job and I’m lucky that two of them will be alongside me this year so that I can lean on their experience as well.”
“While I have the title of captain, I have so much support in the team that I can utilise, plus [Assistant Coach] Charlotte Edwards on the sideline; I will be picking her brains a fair bit and just learning as much as I can about leadership.”
In the recent series against India, the right-hander scored over 240 runs and took seven wickets, including two key performances with the bat in the T20I series. Her knocks of 42 not out and 44 not out helped Australia get over the line and seal the multi-format series 11-5.
Reflecting on what was a breakthrough series for her, McGrath said: “It was an incredible tour to be a part of. It was a really good spectacle for women’s cricket and I loved being a part of it, I loved contributing to the team. It gives me a lot of confidence moving forward. I’ve had a big preseason working on a few things, so it was nice to see that come off.”
“I pinch myself a lot. It’s pretty incredible, the opportunities that cricket provides you. I’m just loving cricket at the moment. Whether it’s in a blue Strikers shirt, Scorpions shirt or Australian shirt, I count myself pretty lucky to be doing what I’m doing. Just riding the wave at the moment, and I’m loving it.”
With their overseas imports Laura Wolvaardt and Dane van Niekerk, and the talent of experience of the likes of Bridget Patterson, Madeline Penna, McGrath, McPharlin and new recruit Jemma Barsby, the Strikers have a very balanced and versatile squad this edition. Skipper McGrath said the strength of the squad means the players can play with a sense of freedom and confidence that will hopefully mean they dominate the tournament.
“One of the best things about our squad is that we’re so versatile, so balanced. Our batting order is a tough one; it’s a good problem to have when you aren’t sure who to bat where because we bat so deep. That gives batters so much confidence going out to the crease knowing that we can play with freedom. So hopefully watch out for some big scores from the Strikers!”
“Leading into the competition with the squad we’ve got, we’re really confident in what we can deliver so really looking forward to kicking off, and quietly confident that we’ve got the squad to do it this year,” she concluded.
The Strikers will kick off their campaign against defending champions Sydney Thunder on Saturday (October 16) who will be without skipper Rachael Haynes.